India is a diverse nation although it stands divided on religious and political grounds but when it comes to patriotism, the entire nation unites as one against the enemy. As we all know Kashmir continues to be the root cause of the feud between India and Pakistan with neither of the two nations ready to back out or give up. Soldiers have been fighting valiantly to keep our country safe, with some sacrificing their lives for the safety of their beloved motherland and the citizens of the country.
Wing commander, Abhinandan Singh is one such hero from Indian Air Force. Post Pulwama attack, Indian Air Force carried out strikes at Balakot( city in Pakistan near LoC) , where the terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohamad existed, so as to avenge the brutal killing of their Indian brothers, the CRPF personnel killed at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.
After India’s surgical strike on 26th February 2019, it was the first since 1971 that the Indian Air Force entered the Pakistani territory, the Pakistani Army retaliated.
On 27th February 2019, three Pakistani Air Force jets(F-16s) entered the Indian territories, but to their dismay, they were intercepted by 6 Indian Air Force Jets. One of the IAF jets, MIG 21 Bison, was driven by Abhinandan Varthman. Varthman shot one F-16 jet, which is considered much more powerful and superior than MIG 21 Bison which Varthman was flying.
When he was returning back, his jet was shot by the Pakistani Army following which he ejected from his jet. After ejection, he landed on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and on landing, he asked the natives as to whether the place where he had landed was India or Pakistan? Initially the POK natives said he has landed in India to which Varthman raised pro nation slogans upon which he was beaten by the POK natives.
The pilot of F-16 which was shot down by Abhinandan was also beaten by the mob upon landing, he was subsequently rescued by the Pakistani Army and taken to a hospital where he later succumbed to injuries.
Meanwhile, Abhinandan fired some shots in the air with the pistol that he had and ran for about a kilometer. He destroyed the important documents that he carried by gulping some of them and dispersing the rest in a nearby water body, before being held captive by the Pakistani Army.
Tensions increased between the two nations with Pakistan shutting all of its International Airports and India shutting down airports of Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Leh, Amritsar, Pathankot, Dehradun and Dharamshala.
Videos of Abhinandan released by the Pakistani Army showed that the Indian brave heart very firmly and politely declined to provide any sort of information to them.
After being pressurized by India and many other nations, Pakistan decided to return Varthman and their PM, Imran Khan, called it as a gesture of peace, whereas India felt that Pakistan had no choice but to return the IAF Officer under Geneva Conventions.
The Indian Air Force offered to provide a special plane for Indian pilot’s return to which Pakistani Army refused and instead decided to bring him to Wagah-Attari border via road.
Expecting Abhinandan’s arrival at 4 p.m, the beating retreat ceremonies of both the neighboring nations were initially cancelled. The Pakistani Army organized its beating retreat ceremony thereby delaying the arrival of the Indian Officer. After a delay of almost 5-6 hours the Indian Officer finally arrived at Attari-Wagah border and crossed the gates and entered India.
During the time that the Indian pilot spent in Pakistan Army’s custody, Indian citizens prayed for his safety and even the opposition parties supported and applauded the government’s stand.
It was a matter of great pride for the entire nation at the bravery shown by the IAF Officer during his captivity. His shooting down of F-16 jet was nothing short of a miracle.